Sunday, November 3, 2013

Bad Blogger

I have been a very bad blogger. Life has gotten in the way of blogging.

The javelinas got into the yard and ate all the sweet potatoes, melons, and tomatoes that were growing. Then they came through and ate the tops off of all the onions.

We've planted two apple trees, a nectarine tree. They all have cages around them so that the javelinas can't eat them. We also planted some Echinacea, which just happens to be a plant the javelinas really like. Of course I found this out after I planted them. My sweet Motorcycle Dude made wire cages to protect them. Good thing too, the dumb javelinas came through again last night. They tried to pry up the cages, but were unsuccessful. Yeah! They were however successful at tipping over the trash cans and spreading trash all over the side yard. Whatever genius decided to import them to the southwest should have some special punishment reserved for him.

I'm the vice president in charge of programs for one of the local quilt guilds. I had no idea it would be so much work when I agreed to take the job. It's lots of fun meeting the speakers. There is just a lot of time spent on making contact and getting the contracts done.

We've loved being in our new house, and are very grateful that the previous owners took good care of the house. While not strictly necessary we have been changing out some of the appliances. The latest is a new range. The white finish range won't be in until the 11th. Delivery and installation is on the 13th. It has a proof mode for when I'm making bread. I'm so excited!

I have been quilting; 31 quilts in the last three months. I just keep forgetting to take pictures of the quilts. Here are a few of the quilts that I've worked on that I remembered to take pictures of.

This modern beauty is my customers first quilt. Her own design too!
These adorable penguins are for a local quilt shop.

This was a beautiful foundation pieced New York Beauty.

This quilt was for the Arizona Longarm Quilters Guild. It's a good thing I took this picture. I noticed that I forgot to finish the crosshatching in the lower right corner.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013


Isn't that just the prettiest bowl of eggs you've ever seen?

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, August 15, 2013

More Birds

My poor hanging geranium. It's not long for the world.

It currently is home for the fourth clutch of house finch babies. That gray fuzzy area is actually four baby finches. Babies on board makes it difficult to water the plant, so it is slowly withering away.

For some reason the mommy keeps laying eggs here. The first three never made it to fledgling age. We aren't exactly sure what happened to them. One day they'd be there and the next they'd be gone.

Motorcycle Dude is making bird houses for next season. Hopefully the parents will prefer them to my plants.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Right on Schedule

The hens are 20 weeks old. We got our first eggs today, right on schedule. They are tiny, but first eggs usually are.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

President's Quilt

The President's Quilt was presented at the guild meeting on Monday. I think that she liked it. I was very happy to see her smile when she saw the quilt. I felt rather inadequate quilting the horse.

This is what the quilt looked like when it left my house.
 After it left me the mini quilt was appliqued to it.

 I especially like the way the fence posts and grass turned out.


Thursday, July 4, 2013


I guess it's been awhile since I've posted. Let's see, what's been happening?

Ron Paul, traveling longarm repairman, came and worked on my ailing longarm.

This disgusting glop came out of the gear box under the bobbin area of my machine. The grease in the gear box had begun to separate, not good. He also had to put a lot of grease into another fitting at the back of the machine. The poor man worked for nine hours before the machine was back in good working order.

 It's back to stitching like a dream, thank goodness.

One of the local guilds, Thumb Butte Quilters Guild, had their quilt show. Loads of beautiful quilts. I spent some time one of the days demonstrating string quilting.

Dear Motorcycle Dude had outpatient surgery (no photos, he'd not be happy about pictures). He's healing well, though still a little sore. He had his post-op appointment yesterday and he is now released to drive, though he's not allowed to lift more than 25 pounds for the next five weeks.

Our Old Red Dog developed an abscess from a spider bite, and that has required a few visits to the vet. He still has the drain, and he's not allowed outside without our supervision.

My fingerprints have cleared, and I have attended orientation so that I might volunteer in the local schools. Students return to school in early August, so now I'm all ready to read with students.

We have had two wildfires burning near us. The Doce Fire, about 5 miles north of us, started June 18. It remains at 96% containment and 6,767 acres have been burned. There is also the Yarnell Hills Fire, about 15 miles south, that has burned 8,400 acres, and is about 45% contained. This fire tragically took the lives of 19 firefighters from the local Granite Mountain Hotshots unit. The fires haven't affected us physically, or threatened our home, but they are emotionally draining.

I've been trying to get some quilting done in between all the doctor visits. I did quilt this quilt that will be the gift for the out-going president of the Thumb Butte Quilters. There is a small quilt going over the large dark rectangle. I'll try to get a picture of it when they present it on Monday.

In the waiting rooms I've been working on this. The diamond papers are from Paper Pieces. I ordered them when I ordered the itty bitty hexies. I've decided I like English Paper Piecing for travel projects. The papers provide the accuracy, so I can stitch without worrying about accuracy. Nice when there are other things going on around me.

Today is Independence Day, so there will be some barbeque happening this afternoon. However before that, there will be some catch-up quilting for me. I'm listening to The Dark Monk while I work. It's the second book in the Hangman's Daughter series by Oliver Pötzsch. I'm finding that listening to books is really helping me to get caught up on my quilting.

So, that's what's been going on in my neck of the woods. What's been happening in your neck of the woods?

Have a good day!

Monday, May 27, 2013


As we've been working around our property we have found some interesting things.

Like grave markers. One of the previous owners was a lapidarist. Since there are parts of two markers we believe that he was making these, and something went wrong. Either he broke them because there was a mistake, or they broke while he was working on them.

We also find these cut and partially polished bits of stone as we work the yard. I think they might be agate, but I'm no expert on stone.

There are lots of plants growing that I can't identify. I am hesitant to weed them out of the yard because they might be wonderful finds. These two have begun to bloom. Aren't they pretty?

An update on Motorcycle Dude. Here is a picture of one of the staging areas for the parade through Washington D.C.. They had the parade Sunday, May 26th.

He's on his way home. There is a swing through North Carolina so that he and his friend can ride The Tail of the Dragon. The website says "318 curves in 11 miles." I'm glad it's him and not me.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013


One thing I never expected to develop attitude was my cell phone.
However, it has recently decided that it no longer likes to receive calls from other cell phones. It only likes calls from landlines.

I have owned iPhones since Apple first started making them. I've never had even a second of trouble with them. Until now, that is.

I must say that AT&T has been very good about helping me. They sent out a new SIM card. I just have to wait for them to activate it. Then we can see if it will give my phone an attitude adjustment.

An update on my Motorcycle Dude. There he is with his yellow Goldwing.

He is amid the army of Motorcycle Dudes, and Dudettes. He says they have about 800 bikes riding with them right now. They pick up more everyday.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

And, He's Off!

This afternoon Motorcycle Dude left for a long motorcycle trip. He's participating in the Run for the Wall, 2,320 miles to Washington, DC.
Hundreds of thousands of motorcyclists are riding to DC to view the Vietnam Veterans Memorial wall. The culmination of the ride is a parade through the streets of DC.

He's been wanting to do this for years. This is the 25th anniversary of the Run for the Wall, and it seemed like a good time to participate.

Have fun, Honey!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013


Wow! Our neighbor gave us twelve cuttings from his blackberry plants. He said, "It's easy. Just bury them and keep them wet.

We watered daily. Necessary in our sandy soil, though tough on the water bill.

We mulched with leaf litter from my friend's yard. We waited, and waited. They got more and more shriveled. But, can you see the touch of green at the base of that cane?

Wow! Leaves! Maybe we'll get berries in a year or so. Yum, blackberry pie. Blackberry jam with hot biscuits. Yum.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Sets a Record

This quilt set a personal record for the most thread changes on a quilt. Sorry for the blurry photo.

Isn't it a beauty? My customer, also my next door neighbor, designed the border and corner blocks. I think they really set off the quilt.

These are most of the threads that I used. Some I had already put away.

 You would think that with as many threads as I have I'd be able to make a perfect match to every fabric on earth. Sadly, this was not so. I was able to make close matches to most of the fabrics, but some of them I'm not completely happy with the match.

My goal was to provide texture to the quilt, but not interfere too much with the beauty of the piecing. I'm hoping to get the quilt to Norma soon. Hopefully, she will like the results.

Friday, April 26, 2013

A Good Finish

This quilt was a challenge. I loved the quilt, but it had a few technical issues.

Most notably, the left side of the quilt has 21 half-square triangle blocks. On the other hand, the right side has 22. That's a 4" difference.

This lead to a bit of fullness needing to be eased in. I procrastinated working on the final border for an entire weekend.

Finally, I made myself tackle the issue. I sprayed the border with starch and steamed it before stitching. It has poof, but no tucks. I was very happy with the results.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, April 9, 2013


The chicks have passed out of the cute and cuddly stage. They still cheep. They've not yet grown into clucking. The coop and run are almost complete. The weather will have to warm up a little before they will be allowed outside. The forecasters are predicting below freezing lows for the next couple of days. The chicks shouldn't be out until the temperatures are closer to 60 degrees at night.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Friendship Block

One of our local quilt guilds is having a friendship quilt challenge. I didn't feel compelled to participate by creating a quilt, but my friend, Kathleen did. Kathleen is a fantastic quilter. Her applique is impeccable. Her piecing is thread perfect.

She gave me a block to embellish for her friendship quilt. She is a dear friend, but I'm still intimidated by having a block in her quilt.

I mulled over my addition to her block for a week or two, before I settled on little hexie flowers and appliqued leaves. Kathleen is the one who showed me how to use freezer paper and starch to do applique. I thought it was appropriate to throw in a little applique.

At first I tried needle turn applique. Quick, just draw the leaves on the fabric and sew them on. OK, that is one applique technique that I can cross off my list. I had very sad, lumpy looking leaves. I took them off and decided to go the freezer paper route.

I have freezer paper right? Well, it must be in a box somewhere that hasn't been unpacked yet. So, continuing required a quick trip to the grocery store. Whenever I find the other freezer paper, I'll never need to buy any again.

The hexies are 1/4" on a side, and English Paper Pieced. Paper Pieces has an incredible variety of papers to choose from. I bought the smallest package of 1/4" hexies that they offered, 200 pieces. While they were perfect for this project, I don't think that I'll be creating any more little hexie flowers. Miniature quilts are not calling to me.

Anyone want 178 1/4" hexies?

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Meet the Diva

Meet the Quilt Diva. She's already for class with her rolling bag and tote full of fabrics. The pattern is from Amy Bradley Designs, and was made by the talented ladies at Seams Sew Right, one of our local quilt shops. Fun isn't she?

I wanted her to have some dimension, so I used Quilters' Dream Wool batting. The background is quilted densely enough that it makes her puff a little.

I pulled the background fill from a book by Diana Phillips.

The borders have different quilting designs that move around the wall hanging. They don't stay within their assigned border. There is a little bit of each spilling into the next.

The green border design is from Dustin Farrell's Freehand Filligree book.

The design in the yellow area is from Marilyn Badger. I learned it in a class that she taught at Road to California a couple of years ago.

I'm sorry I didn't get a better picture of it or the first part of the pink border. The pink border started out as a variation of Dawn Ramirez's Wonky Feathers. It morphed into stylized feathers.

I think the echoed hearts are also from Diana Phillips.

For the life of me I can't figure out how to rotate the last picture. I rotated it in my photo editing software, but when I imported it into Blogger it reverted to its original orientation.

I can't find a way to rotate photos in Blogger. Humph.